Thursday, March 20, 2014

Simple Greek Salad



  • 1small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, cut in bite size pieces
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 head lettuce or bag of baby spinach
  • A few pepperoncinis

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and crushed
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • juice of 1/4 a lemon
  • 1/2 dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • a pinch of salt (optional)

  • Combine salad ingredients in large bowl and toss the salad. 
  • Combine dressing ingredients and stir until well blended.
  • Dress salad with dressing and enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Cake With Chocolate, Coffee and Coconut Ganache

While this cake recipe doesn't follow my usual whole food plant-based recipe posts, it certainly was a delicious cake!  I made this recently for my father's birthday, and everyone loved it. It's fun to be a little indulgent every once in a while. :)


Chocolate Cake

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups coffee (or water)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Chocolate, Coffee, and Coconut Ganache

  • 8 oz semi sweet or bitter sweet (depending on desired degree of sweetness) chocolate chips (dairy free)
  • 2/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 3 tablespoons raw blue agave syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 7 tablespoons coffee
  • About 8 oz unsweetened shredded coconut


  • Heat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
  • Grease and flour two 9" cake rounds (you can also line them with wax paper if you prefer).
  • Combine all dry cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
  • In a smaller mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients. 
  • Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until well blended together with minimal lumps. 
  • Add mixture to cake rounds and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
  • Let cool for about 10 minutes before carefully removing cake from pans (it will be harder to remove cake if you wait much longer than 10 minutes so try to keep cool time to 10 minutes or under)
  • Let cake cool completely.

  • In a small saucepan, heat milk on medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil.
  • Add chocolate chips and agave syrup and stir until chocolate melts. 
  • Remove pan from heat and add powdered sugar and coffee. 
  • Let cool for about 25 minutes. 
Cake Assembly

  • After letting ganache cool for about 25 minutes, spoon some of the ganache mixture onto the top of the bottom layer of your cake. Cover the top completely with the ganache (ganache should still be pretty runny at this point; that's ok).
  • Place the other cake round on top of the freshly frosted bottom layer. 
  • Place the ganache in the fridge for a few hours before completing the rest of the cake so that it is easier to apply to cake. 
  • After letting the ganache cool in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, begin by frosting the very top of the cake leaving the sides unfrosted. 
  • After the top is thoroughly frosted, start adding the shredded coconut to the remaining ganache in the pan and stir. Continue adding coconut until it becomes your desired consistency. I didn't add quite the whole bag of shredded coconut.
  • After achieving desired coconut to chocolate ganache ratio, begin to coat the sides of the cake until the cake is completely covered. 
  • Let set in the fridge for an hour or two (optional) and enjoy! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Brown Rice Pasta With Veggies in a White Wine Sauce

Another vegan pasta recipe!


  • one package brown rice pasta 
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • About 5 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced
  • 5-7 ounces baby spinach (depending on how much you like)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 of lemon for juice
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • Cook brown rice pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to medium high heat in a large pan. Add onion and sauté until translucent, then add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove onion and garlic and set aside. 
  • Add about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan again, and add mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add spinach and cook until spinach begins to wilt, adding more olive oil if needed. 
  • Add the onions and garlic back into the pan with the spinach and mushrooms as well as the tomatoes. 
  • Cook on medium heat for about 1 minute, then add wine. Let the wine reduce. 
  • Add vegetable broth and cook for another few minutes, stirring when needed. 
  • Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to your liking in the sauce.
  • Using tongs, slowly add pasta to sauce making sure sauce coats the pasta as you add more (I didn't end up using the entire package of pasta). Depending on how you like your sauce to pasta ratio, add more or less pasta. 
  • Squeeze lemon over pasta. 
  • Add pasta to serving dish and add fresh parsley to garnish. 
  • Serve and enjoy!


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